This weekend, the UFC ventured back to Sao Paulo, Brazil where Derek Brunson dismantled Lyoto Machida in the first round of the main event.
However, the show stealer was a bloody battle between former UFC title challenger Demian Maia and Colby “Chaos” Covington. After a dominating performance by Covington, he proceeded to call Brazil “a dump” and Brazilians “filthy animals” that “suck”.
The brash fighter did this in front of the sold-out crowd in Ibirapuera Gymnasium during the post-fight interview with UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
Colby Covington followed up his dominant performance over #3 ranked Demian Maia with an emphatic statement to the welterweight division inside the Octagon. Subscribe to get all the latest UFC content: http://bit.ly/2uJRzRR To order UFC Pay-Per-Views, visit http://www.ufc.tv/events Connect with UFC online and on Social: Website: http://www.ufc.com Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ufc Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ufc Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/ufc Snapchat: UFC Periscope: http://Periscope.tv/ufc Experience UFC live with UFC FIGHT PASS, the digital subscription service of the UFC.
Interestingly enough, Covington pushed back the interpreter after the comments stating, “we ain’t translating tonight” just bring me my belt,, going after his American Top Team teammate Tyron Woodley and trying to shirk the obvious animus he created.
After exiting the cage, Covington was immediately met with a barrage of trash being flung his way in a tense walk back to the dressing rooms, where he was hit with more than a few bottles on his way. Covington was noticeably absent from the post-fight press conference, where the UFC PR team said he was being deliberately withheld and his actions reviewed for potential violations of the UFC Code of Conduct.
My formal apology for #ufcsaopaulo @ufc
Covington’s schtick is nothing new as he is embracing the role of the heel in sloppy fashion. His predecessor was Chael Sonnen, who famously went to war verbally with Anderson Silva, disrespecting him personally and his country in every pre-fight build-up to their championship fights in 2010 and 2012.
It is also consistent with a pattern by ambitious white MMA fighters like Conor McGregor, who feel that nothing is off limits when promoting themselves as the villain.
What is so surprising about Covington’s tactic was that he is a member of the Coconut Creek, Florida based American Top Team which is an off-shoot of the historical Brazilian Top Team, which spawned such great fighters as Marco Rua and Murilo Bustamante. The co-owebers of American Top Team are Ricardo Liborio and Conan Silveira, both Brazilian. And many of Covington’s teammates are Brazilian as well.
doorbell rings* @TWooodley: Who’s there? @ColbyCovMMA: ME! Woodley: Get in line. Covington: https://t.co/dpgodFnoPD
This signals a shift in the bad guy dynamic, where not only is the white privilege of Covington on full display in calling an entire nation of people “filthy animals” and their country “a dump” while in the country, but also disrespecting his own team and biggest teammate in Woodley.
When Woodley fought fellow teammate Robbie Lawler to win the UFC welterweight championship in the first round, the two never engaged in pre-fight trash talk out of respect for their American Top Team membership. Even after the fight was over, the two have never disparaged one another, respecting the code of brotherhood.
Covington said his words were a pushback to the Brazilian crowd chanting “You will die” on his walk out to the cage, and he issued a sarcastic apology for his action.
On the walk out I get called every name in the book then they chant “You Gonna Die” I poke back at them a bit and everyone loses their mind?
Still, Covington’s antics marks a new era for MMA, where nothing is off limits in pushing your name to the top of the title-shot pile and becoming polarizing for a big payday is the only goal, with integrity taking a backseat.